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Financial Operations in India Halted as Millions of Bank Employees Protest

© REUTERS / Ajay VermaBank employees shout slogans and carry placards during a protest, as part of a 48-hour long strike, in Chandigarh, India, May 30, 2018
Bank employees shout slogans and carry placards during a protest, as part of a 48-hour long strike, in Chandigarh, India, May 30, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Striking bank employees have turned down a 2 percent salary hike proposal, viewing it as “not in good taste.” Essential services like RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement), demand drafts, cheque clearance and foreign remittances have been severely affected.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Seeking better pay, over a million bank employees of around 40 Indian banks are on a two-day nationwide strike starting Wednesday.

Nine bank employee unions across 21 public, 12 private and seven foreign banks are participating in the strike, which was called after unions refused to agree to a 2 percent wage hike for junior level officers. 

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"From unions, we made it clear that the Indian Banks Association (IBA) offer of 2% was not in good taste," DT Franco, the general secretary of the All India Bank Officers' Confederation, said.

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The Indian Banks' Association, which represents the management of the banks, had refused a wage revision pending since last November of the entire workforce due to the poor financial health of the banking system. Results ending March 2018 show that 37 banks have added approximately $19.5 billion in gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the fourth quarter of the last financial year. Gross NPAs of the Indian banks stand at around $147 billion.

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